MHG35126 - Sea Cave and Midden - Crowlin 3


A sea cave with midden, dating to the post-medieval.

Type and Period (1)

  • ROCK SHELTER (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Created automatically by NMRS Register Utility
User: Admin, Date: Wed 13 Oct 2004
NG63SE 5 6902 3415
The following site was recorded between January and September 1999 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project. A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
NG 6902 3415 Crowlin 3 Boulder shelter. +
Note: + = containing visible midden
B Finlayson, K Hardy and C Wickham-Jones 1999

This site was investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project in 1999. It comprised a former sea cave that has collapsed to form a V-shaped cleft. About 3m from the rear of the cave were the collapsed remains of a drystone wall. A narrow entrance on the eastern side allowed access into the cave’s interior. Sheep excrement inside the cave suggested it had been used to pen livestock. Traces of midden material were visible on the surface of the floor at the rear of the cave. Two test pits were excavated. One at the back of the cave and the second outside the entrance. There were 60 lithic finds, three pieces of glazed pottery, 11 fragments of glass, A shotgun pellet and a pistol ball, both of lead, several iron objects: a circular button; three boat nails and a rove; three small tacks; and 44 nail fragments and ironworking slag, and assemblage of bone and shell. Three radiocarbon dates from Test Pit 1 indicated activity in the late 2nd millennium AD (AD1450-1650; AD 1660-1960; AD 1680-1950).
The lithics are an undiagnostic assemblage, but it is interesting to note that most of the pieces are fairly chunky and six have damage suggestive of their use as strike-a-lights while one may be a crude gunflint. The assemblage might well represent laterstone working activity: a limited amount of stone working went on into historic times to produce strike-a-lights and gunflints, the results of which are found in small numbers on many later sites. This would agree with the radiocarbon determinations and evidence of the metalwork and other finds, much of which is post-medieval. The slag suggests that small-scale metalworking may have taken place here, perhaps to do with boat repair. It seems that a working gun or pistol was part of the possessions of those who were using this site. <1>

See link below to Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 31 for further information and radicarbon dates. See also link below to Scottish Radiocarbon Database.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 6901 3415 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG63SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.